Thursday, December 02, 2004


As I was looking through some morning news, this article really struck me. A rare Hawiian bird may now be completely extinct as the last captive male has died and the remaining two known birds haven't been seen in over a year. Probably 90% of the population or more will not even know about this and I'm guessing that the majority of the people who do catch this piece of news won't be phased by it. I, on the other hand, am very troubled by it.

Just the thought of an entire species of bird ceasing to exist is kind of mind boggling. For us Minnesotans, I try to think of what it would be like to no longer have Cardinals or Blue Jays any more. Imagine never being able to see a live blue jay ever again--another one will never exist. The only way you'd ever be able to see one is on a discovery channel tv show or in pictures from a book or magazine.

In the grand scheme of things, every species will no doubt become extinct and fade into the abyss of time, but being present at the time of species passing into that abyss is, well, chilling. For me, it kind of hammers home the point that someday I, myself, will be for all intents and purposes extinct. As time slowly crawls on, I will whither, rot, decay, and be sucked into the all encompassing void of "the past".

Think about some of the people you've know who have died. I often think about my grandfather, my great grandmother, and my good friend Mike who have all passed on. I remember them, but slowly some of my memories fade. Other people remember them too, but what happens when all of us that remember them also die? There's really no one left to remember them and they'll simply be relegated to a name on a tombstone, much like I myself one day will be. People will remember me for a time but they will die and time will march on. Eventually I will be forgotten. Eventually I will be completely extinct because no one will remember me.

The Po'ouli bird is now extinct and as time goes on it will be nothing more than a note in a history book. Everyone will have forgotten all about it and the Po'ouli will no longer exist. It's a bleak thought to know that time, that bastard, will suck all of us into its void of nothingness and non-existence as it slowly does the only thing it knows how to do--move onward. There's nothing that can be done to counteract time, though, which is almost as bad as knowing about what it is going to do to you.

No comments: